Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect how local legislators voted on SB1. An earlier version of this story inaccurately reported how one lawmaker voted.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A near-total abortion ban goes into effect on September 15. The new law bans all abortions except for cases of rape, incest and serious risk to the mother’s physical health.
Senator Jon Ford has not responded to our request for an interview or comment, he voted in favor of the bill.
Representative Bob Heaton said the following,
“Strengthening protections for the unborn has always been one of my top priorities. This new law reflects a thoughtful and compassionate approach to protecting both moms and babies. We also substantially increased funding to improve maternal and infant health in our state. Moving forward, we’ll continue to look for ways to increase availability and access to critical care for women before, during and after birth. We want to ensure moms and babies have every opportunity to get a healthy start.”
Representative Alan Morrison provided the following statement,
“As a lifelong advocate of preserving the sanctity of life and supporting Hoosier families, Indiana’s new law is a tremendous step in the right direction that could save thousands of innocent lives each year. I also supported investing about $74 million in proven state and nonprofit programs that are focused on providing care to new and expectant moms, babies and families in crisis. I look forward to building on this momentum in the next legislative session.”
Indiana has become one of the first states since the overturning of Roe v. Wade to pass sweeping abortion legislation.
State Representative of District 43, Tonya Pfaff, voted no for SB1 citing abortion as a choice.
“This was a tough bill and at the end of the day. It’s not good for women. It’s not good for business, it’s not good for corporations,” She said. “Religious leaders and doctors came out and said “don’t pass this,” and it passed.”
State Representative of the 45th District, Bruce Borders voted in favor of the new law.
“Are we a perfect state? No. I think this is a major step in the right direction recognizing the value of protecting the lives of the most innocent amongst us,” He said.
Under the bill, abortions are allowed in some circumstances. Borders added he prefer that language not be included.
‘What we’re doing is taking the life of a child because of the sin of the father. But, that child still has the right to life,” He said.
Pfaff would not comment on that section.
Days after being signed into law by Governor Eric Holcomb, major companies across the state spoke out against it. Eli Lilly released the following statement,
“Lilly recognizes that abortion is a divisive and deeply personal issue with no clear consensus among the citizens of Indiana. Despite this lack of agreement, Indiana has opted to quickly adopt one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States. We are concerned that this law will hinder Lilly’s – and Indiana’s – ability to attract diverse scientific, engineering and business talent from around the world. While we have expanded our employee health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services unavailable locally, that may not be enough for some current and potential employees.
As a global company headquartered in Indianapolis for more than 145 years, we work hard to retain and attract thousands of people who are important drivers of our state’s economy. Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state.”
Pfaff anticipates economic consequences to follow.
“I think anytime there’s legislation as big as this that directly affects our work force , it is something we need to talk about. It is something we need to talk about further. I fully expect other businesses and corporations to either not come or to leave,” She said.
“We’re all in this ball game together. [Eli Lilly’s and Cummins’] research and technology is out there to save lives. I voted for this bill to save lives. As far as I’m concerned, we’re on the same page,” Borders said.
Both do agree that abortion will be closely monitored. Pfaff hoping that the General Assembly will look at child care issues, mental health and pregnancy accommodation. Borders encourages the state to track abortions and to look at the causes for procedures.